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World Class Care. ., Anytime, Ajiywhere 

Issue 5 
February 29, 2008 

Inside this Issue: 

NHB Staff Begins Preparation for 
Upcoming Mercy Mission 

Hospitalman Named PCU Bush's 
Bluejacket of the Year 

Critical Care Skill in Fallujah 
Brings NHB Nurse Recognition 

Head of DOD Health Care Visits 
NH Camp Pendleton 

NH Naples Names Military Hospi 
tal of the 2007 Year 

Items of Interest: 

February is American Heart Month. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of 
death in the U.S. About 700,000 peo- 
ple die of heart disease annually. Heart 
disease is a term that includes several 
specific heart conditions. The most 
common heart disease is coronary 
heart disease, which often appears as a 
heart attack. The chance of developing 
coronary heart disease can be reduced 
by taking steps to prevent and control 
factors that put people at greater risk. 
Symptoms include shortness of breath 
and discomfort in the chest are and I 
other parts of the upper body. Addi- 
tionally, knowing the signs and symp- 
toms of heart attack are crucial to the 
most positive outcomes after having a 
heart attack. To learn more about heart 
disease and how to prevent it, visit 
http ://www.cdc.go v/ 

Navy and Marine 
Corps Medical News 

A Public Affairs Publication of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

Naval Hospital Jacksonville Personnel 
Return from Deployment 

By Loren Barnes, Naval Hospital 
Jacksonville Public Affairs 


"Welcome Home and Happy Birth- 
day Lt. Brown - Sold the house! 
Baby walking! Husband home! 
Mission Complete! ~ Accursia and 

A poster bearing this checklist 
was the first thing that Lt. Joseph 
Brown saw as he stepped into the 
Jacksonville International Airport 
(J I A) concourse Feb. 1. Brown was 
one of seven Naval Hospital (NH) 
Jacksonville and Branch Health 
Clinic medical personnel coming 
home from a seven- month deploy- 
ment with Expeditionary Medical 
Facility (EMF) Kuwait. 

Holding the sign was his wife, 
Lt. Accursia Baldasano. Brown's 17- 

month-old son, Tye was in the arms 
of Naval Hospital Jacksonville Ex- 
ecutive Officer (XO) Capt. David 
Miller. The XO, other hospital staff 
and some very excited family mem- 
bers were on hand to welcome the 
Sailors home. In this case, the XO 
had the added pleasure of wishing 
one of those Sailors "Happy Birth- 
day". Brown was celebrating his 
38th birthday that day, probably a 
birthday he'll always remember. 

Baldassano said she was defi- 
nitely ready to have her husband 
home. While he was away she had 
single-handedly prepared for their 
impending transfer to Guam. This 
was in addition to fulfilling her pre- 
sent duties as a nurse in the hospi- 

(Continued on page 2) 

TERNATE, Republic of Philippines - Lt. Todd E. Gregory, assigned to 31st Marine Expedition- 
ary Unit, left, and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Robert O. Beveridge, assigned to Health Ser- 
vices Support, Combat Logistics Battalion 31, perform a medical consultation with Phillipino 
senior citizens during the annual bilateral exercise Balikatan 2008 (BK 08) between the Republic 
of the Philippines and the U.S. Feb. 19. During the BK-08 humanitarian assistance and training 
activities, military service members from the United States and the government of the Republic 
of the Philippines work together to improve maritime security and ensure humanitarian assis- 
tance and disaster relief efforts are efficient and effective. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communi- 
cation Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Wahl 

NHB Staff Begins Preparation for Upcoming Mercy IVIission 

By Douglas H Stutz, Nava Hospital Bremerton Public 
Affairs Office 

BREMERTON, Wash. - In what has become a cycli- 
cal event of compassion and commitment, Naval Hospi- 
tal Bremerton (NHB) personnel will embark this sum- 
mer on Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS 
Mercy (T-AH 19). Mercy will again deploy to provide 
medical support, humanitarian assistance, and civil af- 
fairs aid in support of Pacific Partnership 2008 to coun- 
tries primarily on the Pacific Rim. 

Such humanitarian assistance is now an integral 
part of the Navy's updated core mission statement re- 
leased last year. The Mercy's last deployment covered 
five months in 2006 and provided humanitarian assis- 
tance and disaster relief to the Republic of the Philip- 
pines, Bangladesh, Indonesia and East Timor. In all, 
Mercy visited ten locations in the four nations, and 
cared for more than 60,000 patients, as well as show- 
cased the crew as American goodwill ambassadors. 

"Building on a successful Mercy deployment in 2006 
and USS Peleliu Pacific Partnership last summer, Mercy 
will again embark international medical, dental and en- 
gineering teams this summer to provide humanitarian 
support in Southeast Asia," announced Adm. Robert F. 

Deployment continued... 

Willard, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander in Sydney, Austra- 
lia, on Jan. 29, in a speech on U.S. Maritime Strategy. 

"Providing assistance for a humanitarian mission is yet 
another example of our overall commitment to executing 
our readiness mission on a Navy-wide scale," said Capt. 
Catherine A. Wilson, NHB commanding officer. 

In preparation for the upcoming deployment, NHB per- 
sonnel spend an orientation week in December familiariz- 
ing themselves with the Mercy. "It was a week well 
spent," said Hospital Corpsman Moneke Burks, of NHB's 
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Dental Department. "We 
went through a lot in that time, from egress routes to 
damage control stations to providing input for our work- 

According to Burks, any concern she had about ade- 
quate supplies on hand was quickly dispelled. "All medical 
needs were very well-stocked," she commented. "I don't 
think I've ever seen anything like it. It was very impres- 
sive. Obviously a lot of thought had gone into what was 
needed and was well organized. As Dental leading petty 
officer, one of my responsibilities will be to make sure we 
have all the instruments we need, and every port could be 

(Continued on page 4) 

(Continued from page 1) 

tal's Endoscopy Suite and being a 
devoted mom. When Brown left, 
Tye wasn't walking yet and the 
family still had a house. Now, they 
are temporarily living out of the 
family RV and his wife is more than 
ready for Brown to resume his du- 
ties as dad and husband. Brown 
seems more than up for the job. 

Baldassano wasn't alone in her 
joy at having a spouse return 
home. Despite the rigors of deploy- 
ment, hours of air travel and being 
outfitted in those head-turning de- 
sert cammies, Cmdr. Elizabeth Jen- 
sen was greeted by her husband, 
Carlos with the words "You look 
sexy!" Jensen is a nurse practitio- 
ner in NH Jacksonville's Family 
Medicine Department. 

Johanna Adkinson was there to 
welcome home her husband. Hospi- 
tal Corpsman 1^^ Class David Adkin- 
son who served as a general duty 
corpsman at EMF Kuwait. At the 
naval hospital, he works for the 
director of nursing services. Jo- 
hanne said it had been a long seven 

David had experienced deploy- 
ment before during the first gulf 
war but this was a new experience 
for Johanna as it was his first since 
they have been together. She said 
such a separation is difficult for the 
spouse and their children. The Ad- 
kinson children, Thalia, Rachelly 
and Johanna were in school that 
afternoon but Johanna said they 
were very anxious to see David. 
She summed up her own feelings 
saying, "I'm very happy he's 

Also on hand to welcome home 
these Sailors were members of the 
Patriot Guard Riders of Jacksonville 
who saluted the Sailors as they ex- 
ited the airport. 

The Kuwait group was one of 
two teams to return from support- 
ing the war on terrorism. On Feb. 2, 
18 hospital personnel were greeted 
by a crowd of excited family mem- 
bers and friends at the Naval Air 
Station J acksonville Air Terminal. 
They were the latest group to com- 
plete a five-month tour delivering 
medical care at the Guantanamo 
Bay, Cuba detainee hospital. The 
hospital has been providing the 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hospital Corpsman 
Second Class (HM2) Wilmary Billups sheds 
some tears as she's reunited with her son 
Donovan. She was returning from seven 
long months deployed to Kuwait. Billups 
works in Naval Hospital Jacksonville's Radi- 
ology Department. Photo courtesy of Rich- 
ard Wiggins, Patriot Guard Riders ■ 

bulk of the staff at the facility for 
over a year now and that mission 

Hospitalman Named PCU Bush's Bluejacket of the Year 

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice 
Nicholas Hall, Pre-Commissioning Unit George H.W. Bush 
Public Affairs 

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - To pick three Sailors per 
year who stand out above the rest is no easy tasl< for 
any command; but the Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) 
George H.W. Bush's (CVN 77) has selected their Blue- 
jacket of the Year for 2007. 

Hospitalman Tyler E. Cook stood out above the rest 
to be selected as Bluejacket of the Year. Cook competed 
against four other selectees and was interviewed by a 
selection board to see how knowledgeable he was about 
the Navy, as well as current events going on around the 

To prepare for the selection board, Cook studied eve- 
rything from uniform regulations to CNN's Web site to 
stay up to date. 

Cook credits the entire Dental Department with help- 
ing him to win this award; he said that the award be- 
longs to the department, and he is just the lucky one 
who gets to accept for the award. 

The leading chief petty officer of the Dental Depart- 
ment, Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/FMF) Jashawn Haw- 
kins considers Cook to be his go-to guy for any problems 
he may have. Due to Cook's talent and eagerness to 
learn, Hawkins has to be careful not to overuse him. 
Once Hawkins teaches Cook a job, he knows that Cook 

will not stop until he is proficient at the task. 

"I was the king of X-rays and I trained him and he 
dethroned me, which is a good thing," said Hawkins. 

Cook does not like to say that he has goals for the 
future but instead calls them plans. To him, goals are 
never kept unless a plan is made to achieve them. Ac- 
cording to Cook, education is very important, so after his 
tour on the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, he plans on 
receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Biology and continuing on 
to dental school. 

To Cook, being selected as the Bluejacket of the Year 
has its benefits. Cook feels a sense of pride and honor in 
representing his department, command and the Navy as 
a Bluejacket of the Year. Cook never believes in taking 
the easy route, even when it may seem that you can get 
away with it. 

"Taking the easy route or the short cut may seem 
easy or you may think you're pulling a fast one over on a 
supervisor, but you are only selling yourself short," said 

According to Cook, if you take care of your chain of 
command, they will do the same thing for you since it 
was his chain of command who nominated him for the 

The aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush is currently 
under construction at the Northrop Grumman Newport 
News shipyard. 

Critical Care Skill in Fallujah Brings NHB Nurse Recognition 

By Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital 
Bremerton Public Affairs Office 

BREMERTON, Wash. - Lt. 

Cmdr Lisa Saar, of Naval Hospital 
Bremerton, has been nominated as 
the top candidate of Navy Nurse 
Corps, Bureau of Medicine and Sur- 
gery, for the Major Maria Ortiz, Op- 
erational Nursing Award, which rec- 
ognizes the exceptional service of 
combat medical personnel. She has 
also been selected to be included in 
the upcoming Women in the Military 
poster for the Women in Military 
Service Memorial (WIMSA) to high- 
light the Navy Nurse Corps 100^^ 
birthday this May 13. 

From August 2006 to March 
2007, Saar had precious little time 
to ponder the notion that the Navy 
Nurse Corps' was established in 

During that time, she was serv- 
ing as critical care nurse at Fallujah 
Surgical, with the Combat Logistics 
Regiment 15 (Forward), 1st Marine 
Logistics Group (Forward), I Marine 
Expeditionary Force (Forward). 

Saar's assignment had her plying 
her skill from trauma bay to flight 
line and anywhere else she was 

"The team of doctors, nurses 
and corpsmen we had at Camp Fal- 
lujah were just doing what we're 
trained to do," said Saar. "Our for- 
ward surgical team was truly Navy 
Medicine at its' finest." 

Saar found herself in the volatile 
area of Fallujah, Al Anbar Province, 
Iraq, still smoldering from fierce 
2004 fighting in what has been 
called the heaviest urban combat 
involving American service mem- 
bers since the Battle of Hue City, 
Vietnam, in 1968. It took Saar only 
four days to realize that Fallujah, 
located approximately 43 miles 
west of Baghdad, was the locale of 
a much-in-demand surgical site 
with trauma unit. That day, 26 in- 
jured were brought in during a 
mass casualty event where her 
nursing skills and professionalism 
helped save the lives of numerous 
patients. The operational tempo 

rarely let up. 

"We were not right on the front 
line, but close enough," related 
Saar. "The majority of the wounded 
we dealt with were transported to 
us by vehicle. We'd get victims 
burnt, blown up, and bloodied. Most 
of those we treated were due to 
I ED (improvised explosive device) 
blasts and sniper shots. We treated 
our Marines and Army personnel, 
and a lot of Iraqis also. The locals 
knew that if they got treated by us, 
they stood a much better chance of 

Gunfire sounded close and 
nightly motor rounds were com- 
monplace at times. 12-hour shifts 
always lingered well past the origi- 
nal schedule. "If we got three or 
fours hours of shut-eye, we were 
good to go," said Saar. "Our berth- 
ing was right next to the trauma 
bay, I basically lived in trauma for 
days at a time. It's what we did. 
None of us thought to do anything 

(Continued on page 5) 


Page 4 

Head of DoD Health Care Visits NH Camp Pendleton 

By Douglas Allen, Naval Hospital 
Camp Pendleton Public Affairs Of- 


The Honorable S. Ward Casscells, 
M.D., Assistant Secretary of De- 
fense for Health Affairs visited Na- 
val Hospital Cannp Pendleton Feb. 
21 as part of a trip to the West 
Coast to attend the 2nd Annual Ma- 
rine Corps Installations West/NHCP 
Autism Conference. 

During the three and a half hour 
visit, Casscells toured the hospital, 
talked to the staff at an All-Hands 
Call and ate lunch with combat 
wounded Marines and sailors. 

Casscells thanked the staff for 
their hard work both here and on 
the battlefield. You can take pride 
in your "in-theater" care and in the 
rehabilitation care given to our na- 
tions' wounded warriors here, he 

He also explained how the mili- 
tary's medical mission has ex- 

NHB continued... 

(Continued from page 2) 

different, but from what I saw, we'll 
be prepared for any assignment." 

"We'll be on more than just a 
normal Western Pacific deploy- 
ment," said Culinary Specialist 2nd 
Class Steven Stanton, NHB Com- 
bined Food Service Department. 
"We'll be providing assistance to a 
number of needy people. On 
Mercy's last cruise, there were 
some people who waited for days in 
long lines for the ship to pull in. To 
be in a position to help is such an 
emotional feeling." 

Stanton will be a supervisor and 
watch captain in the ship's galley. 
"The galley is currently being reno- 
vated, and is nice and big," said 
Stanton. "Besides our work on 
there, we will also help out with 
getting supplies to where they are 
needed at various sites ashore dur- 
ing the deployment. I'm looking 
forward to doing all I can for those 
in need." 

The Mercy mission also had a 
wide range of medical, dental, and 
civic action services provided by 

panded to more than its traditional 
role. He lauded the Navy for 
"setting the example and making 
humanitarian aid and disaster relief 
as much a mission as their kinetic 

At lunch, wounded Marines and 
sailors talked with Casscells about 
their care. He listened to their sug- 
gestions about both physical and 
mental health care. He asked what 
their experiences were in regards to 
the medical care they received from 
theater to Landstuhl Regional Medi- 
cal Center to back stateside. 

"My care has been good," said 
Petty Officer 2nd Class (FMF/SW) 
Thomas Fairbanks, a hospital corps- 
man at NCHP who was wounded in 
Iraq while attached to the 1st Ma- 
rine Division. "Dr. Casscells was 
pleased with what he heard about 
the care we've received. His visit 
was very reassuring. It showed 
that everyone is concerned about 
our wounded warriors and is willing 

diverse and multi-specialized inter- 
agency and international teams, 
each making vital contributions to 
the overall mission. There were 
representatives from the U.S. Public 
Health Service. There was involve- 
ment from host nation medical per- 
sonnel. There were non-host na- 
tion military personnel who em- 
barked on the ship from India, Ma- 
laysia, Singapore, Canada and Aus- 
tralia. There were also non- 
governmental organizations (NGO) 
and international relief teams. The 
NGOs assisted with patient loads in 
the countries where Mercy made a 
port call. 

Last year, NHB staff members 
were also part of the approximately 
1,400 military and civilian medical 
staff, health care providers, non 
government organization relief per- 
sonnel and support staff onboard 
amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu 
(LHA 5), which deployed for Pacific 
Partnership, a very-similar medical 
and humanitarian mission that vis- 
ited islands in the Philippine archi- 
pelago, Vietnam, the Solomon Is- 
lands, Papua New Guinea and the 


- The Honorable Dr. S. Ward Casscells, 
M.D., Assistant Secretary of Defense for 
Health Affairs, discusses wounded warrior 
rehabilitation care with Lt. Cmdr. Patrick 
Meier, MSC, USN, in the Occupational 
Therapy Clinic during a tour Feb. 21. 
U.S. Navy photo by Douglas W. Allen 

to listen to us and get information 
to make things even better." 

Marshall Islands. Over 30,000 pa- 
tients were treated over the four 
month deployment. 

The Mercy is homeported in San 
Diego and will have a full crew of 
approximately 65 civilians and over 
1,200 military and civilian person- 
nel upon deployment. The ship's 
primary mission is to provide rapid, 
flexible, and mobile acute medical 
and surgical services to support 
Marine Corps Air/Ground Task 
Forces deployed ashore. Army and 
Air Force units deployed ashore, 
and naval amphibious task forces 
and battle forces afloat. 

The NHB team of doctors, 
nurses, corpsmen and support staff 
set to deploy will again combine 
their medical proficiency and pro- 
fessional ability with their top-notch 
talent and dedicated enthusiasm to 
continue the tradition of compas- 
sion and commitment to those in 

February i 


NH Naples Names Military Hospital of the 2007 Year 

By Jimmy M. Hodges, Naval Hospital 
Naples Public Affairs Office 

NAPLES, Italy- U.S. Naval 
Hospital Naples (USNH) was named 
the 2007 Outstanding Military Hos- 
pital of the Year for Customer Satis- 
faction by the Department of De- 
fense (DoD) for the second straight 
year in a row. This is the first time 
any facility has ever garnered this 
prestigious award twice; USNH 
Naples received the award for 2006 
and was runner up in 2003. 

The award was presented during 
the 2008 Military Health System's 
national conference, held in January 
in Washington, DC, and comes with 
a 25-thousand cash award. In com- 
petition with all U.S. Army, Navy 
and Air Force overseas military 
treatment facilities worldwide, 
USNH Naples proved once again 
they were the very best at provid- 
ing quality patient and family cen- 
tered care. 

The award program is con- 
tracted by DoD to the Picker I nsti- 
tute, a leader in the development 
and measurement of programs 
dedicated solely to the improve- 
ment of the patient experience. 

When a patient is seen at Naval 
Hospital Naples, their visit gener- 
ates an electronic encounter in the 
Tricare database which is used to 
randomly select patients that re- 
ceive customer satisfaction surveys. 
These comprehensive surveys 
evaluate 16 different customer ser- 
vice criteria and are designed 
around three major themes; access 
to care, quality of service, and 
friendliness and courtesy of staff. 

USNH Naples personnel credit 
their continued work in instituting 
patient and family centered care 
initiatives, programs, and commu- 
nity education projects as reasons 
they were this years big winners; . 
Captain Dale Mole, USNH Naples 

Critical Care continued... 

(Continued from page 3) 

different. It was where we were 
needed. Being there was our pur- 
pose. It wasn't nearly as big a sac- 
rifice as those we were treating to 
keep alive." 

Saar also flew in over 20 Medi- 
cal Evacuation (MEDEVAC) flights, 
mainly in Army Blackhawk helicop- 
ters taking patients on to further 
care at Balad Air Base or the main 
military hospital in Baghdad. If a 
Blackhawk MEDEVAC wasn't avail- 
able, special circumstances required 

bureau or ivieaicine ana burgery 

Public Affairs Office 

2300 E Street NW 

Washington, DC 20372-5300 

Phone: (202) 762-3221 

Fax: (202) 762-1705 

immediate resourcefulness. "We 
had a critically-injured patient that 
we needed to get to Balad immedi- 
ately," Saar recalled. "We ended up 
taking a Special Operations helo 
and although the flight was only 
about 30 minutes, it was nasty. We 
had tracers, RPGs (rocket propelled 
grenades) coming at us." 

Despite the long hours, rustic 
environment and rudimentary con- 
ditions, the one constant about 
Saar during her deployment was a 
ready smile and willingness to help 
when needed, even beyond medical 
concerns and physical issues, but 
also emotional ones. 
"Our recovery room and intensive 
care unit (ICU) needed a few 
touches of home," noted Saar. "We 
hung some American flags up and 
added other stuff we brought with 
us. Everything helped." 

Saar also got hold of a list of 
everyone's birthday and organized 
a get-together every month to cele- 
brate the event. "It gave us a few 
hours of down time," she related. 

NAPLES, Italy - Capt. Dale Mole, U.S. Na- 
val Hospital Naples Commanding Officer, 
shows off the 2007 Outstanding Military 
Hospital of the Year for Customer Satisfac- 
tion award. U.S. Navy photo by Jimmy M. 

Commanding Officer, believes his 
staff received this award "for taking 
the extra steps to do what was 
right, not just what was required". 

"We all knew we were far away 
from home, but it really didn't mat- 
ter. We were here with our Navy 
and Marine Corps family. The best 
Thanksgiving dinner I ever had was 
there. It was simple, just turkey 
and mashed potatoes and gravy in 
takeout plastic containers, in the 
Marine Ward with the 124th 
(battalion regiment unit), next to 
the trauma bay. We all told stories 
what our folks back home would be 
doing. But we were where we 
needed to be, and that was to care 
for our wounded." 

Saar has a life time of memories 
from helping to save lives at Fallu- 
jah Surgical, but she doesn't con- 
sider herself to be a poster child for 
Navy Nurse Corps. 

"I'm very humbled by this rec- 
ognition," she said. "I was not the 
only one out there. What I did is 
exactly what all of us do. We have 
so many worthy nurses and provid- 
ing critical care is just not some- 
thing done alone. It takes a team 
and I was just a part." 

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